Some alternative views of historic Old Cromwell Town, Central Otago

There are countless references all over the Internet to this old area of Cromwell, Central Otago, so I won’t duplicate describing what it is all about, except to say that most of the old buildings, and sites of, were submerged when Lake Dunstan was filled. The buildings below, above the lake water level, then became the basis of an historic precinct, much visited by tourists and also host to a regular Sunday Market.

This cafe was closed when the photo was made, but they do make a great coffee, and give great service. To the right is the ever popular art cooperative, Hullabaloo Art Space. To the left is an ally way leading to the Marie Velenski’s little craft and art shop, which is the focus of the next few photos below…
Cromwell jolly squared

The ally way...
Historic buildings, Cromwell

Marie Velenski’s craft shop…
Marie Velenski's craft shop, Cromwell

Marie, with some of her art work…
Marie Velenski in her craft shop, Old Cromwell Town, Central Otago

A colourful quince tree that Marie takes care of…
Quince tree in autumn in Old Cromwell

The view in the other direction from Marie’s doorway. On the taking of this image by-the-way, I did not see the slight female figure in the doorway. It is probably not a ghost, but I find it disconcerting that it showed up, for me at image processing time…
Scots Bake House, Old historic Cromwell Town

Nearby there is a blacksmith building that has been recreated…
Blacksmith model Old Cromwell Town, historic precinct

Blacksmith model Old Cromwell Town, historic precinct

Lastly, a nice wall I discovered nearby, quite close to a derelict building which is the subject of the featured image above…
Autumn colors and wall in Old historic Cromwell Town

A couple of suprising places to visit, with visitors, on a rainy day in Wanaka

For the last few weekends in Wanaka it has rained. Since this is not the usual state affairs it can pose a few challenges when visitors come visiting.

I’ve long promoted Puzzling World as a fun place to go, but never thought of the National Transport and Toy Museum at the airport, and in this later case Brian led the charge – neither of us having any idea how much it has grown.

Brian found a car the same as his first back in his youth…

Vladimir, originally from Russia enjoyed seeing a Gaz from his home country…
Toy 1 15

I found an Austin, same model as my parent’s first car. It was more of indigo colour. Like this car it had very thoughtful footrests for passengers in the rear…

Then we adjourned to Puzzling World, where we were content to not be puzzled, favouring a more passive role playing with puzzles over a coffee…

Some deep thoughts on the ethics of using post production software on a photo

I occasionally come across philosophical discussions about the ethics of using post production software on an image.

Working with this one, and nursing a sense of vexation at the challenges last night, I got to thinking of the different ways this sort of discussion can go. Here are my thoughts on this:

I’m in a helicopter with a young pilot I don’t know, flying across Fiordland N.Z. in snow flurries that saw us “winging it” near landforms for the sake of navigation, and frankly I’m lost to the myriad of ridges and valleys sprinkled by snowflakes and veiled by clouds being prised apart by a sun rising on the back of a weather front.

Then it happens again, like usual: I “see” a picture waiting to be made, and raise my lens to align with the spot of highest clarity, dubious in the misted perspex window that comprises half a door.

I get home OK and later examine the image looking for what I felt at that moment, and there are none. But I know those feelings are in the file somewhere!

This is the second attempt to extract how I felt, and nothing else. In short I don’t care about ethics – just how to frame it all to fit the sense of mystery that floated past me.

You see Fiordland, for all it’s beauty, “takes no prisoners”, but it embodies part of my heart!

Fiordland Spit Island
Spit Island, Fiordland NZ

Fiordland, Dusky Sound sea gull and rainbow
Fiordland New Zealand ~ Dusky Sound

Fiordland's Long Sound
Spring snow on the mountains alongside Fiordland’s Long Sound, New Zealand

The magic of the Glendhu Bay area of Lake Wanaka

I went out a couple of evenings ago to capitalise on the beautiful evening light we’ve been getting lately, and the cool airs, after another scorcher in Wanaka – I even had a swim 🙂

I was not disappointed with the burnt off grass tones, and the reflective nature of the water surface mimicking the clouds was a bonus …

Roys Peak Wanaka, from Glendhu Bay
Roys Peak Wanaka, from the Glendhu Bay area

Glendhu Bay and Mt Aspiring
Glendhu Bay with Mt Aspiring in the background

Emerald bluffs Wanaka

Te Wahipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area – a true treasure of mountains, bush, beaches and forest

This area of New Zealand’s remote and rugged South Westland is truly worthy of World Heritage status bestowed sometime ago by UNESCO. It extends south from the Cook River to Fiordland and encompasses the Franz and Fox Glaciers – 2.6 million-hectares in total.

One of the benefits of living in the Wanaka area is it is very close to this amazingly diverse landscape, and this selection is from a quick trip to the Jackson and Cascade rivers area in Nov. 2017

South Westland beach at sunset

Red Hills South Westland

Martyr Saddle South Westland

Lichen South Westland

Sub alpine lichen South Westland

Ellery River South Westland

Ellery River South Westland

Ellery River South Westland

South Westland Beach at sunset

The Young Australian Waterwheel

When gold was discovered in Bannockburn near Cromwell in 1862 it was not soon before enterprising miners climbed higher up the Carrick Range behind the alluvial workings, to look for the quartz reefs that fed the terraces below, that are now sluiced away.

By 1876, based on good returns and the knowledge that more water would soon be available to drive the stampers by waterwheel, there were soon five batteries in these higher areas. However the reef then petered out gradually and mining had ceased by 1898.

The restored wheel, the second largest in the Southern Hemisphere apparently [the largest being the Old Mill Wheel in Oamaru], now stands alone, as the stamper battery it was driving was moved across the valley, where it still sits today reasonably well preserved, and relatively difficult of access.

Young Australian waterwheel on the Carrick Range, Central Otago


Young Australian waterwheel on the Carrick Range, Central Otago


Clever use by the miners of long ago of an existing rock…
Young Australian waterwheel accommodation on the Carrick Range, Central Otago


Young Australian waterwheel on the Carrick Range, Central Otago


Young Australian waterwheel on the Carrick Range, Central Otago


Young Australian waterwheel on the Carrick Range, Central Otago


Young Australian waterwheel on the Carrick Range, Central Otago


Lake Dunstan and Cromwell from the saddle above the gully where the waterwheel sits...
Cromwell from the Carrick Range, Central Otago


Looking back at the crest of the Carrick Range. A 4wd road from Duffers Saddle on the left, can just be seen…
The Carrick Range, Central Otago


The water race that turned the waterwheel is still in use today for irrigation. The damaged fluming in this photo once directed water from it down the steep Adams Gully to the right where there are remains of the 5 stamper battery as mentioned above…
The Carrick Range water race, Central Otago


The Adams Gully stamper and gold processing plant remains. Note the fluming as mentioned above, up the gully…
Adams Gully stamper battery on the Carrick Range, Central Otago

To access the waterwheel: there are quite a few web sites hosted by various organisations that list directions – just Google “Carrick Range waterwheel”. Most of them list two ways: climb up from Bannockburn on foot, bike or 4wd, or drive to the top of nearby Duffers Saddle and then walk, bike or 4wd along and down to the site. The former I’d not recommend, and it’s certainly not a track for a soft 4wd such as a Subaru or Rav


The largest waterwheel in the Southern Hemisphere, the Old Mill Wheel in Oamaru under restoration as of Oct. 2017. This wheel weighs in at 50 ton, which would probably make the Young Australian about 35…
Oamaru Old Mill Waterwheel restoration


What is a stamper battery >>